Princeton names campus dining executive director

Smitha Haneef will lead campus dining staff and facilities.

Starting June 23, Smitha Haneef, will take on the role of Princeton University’s executive director of campus dining. Haneef will report to Chad Klaus, vice president for university services, and lead dining staff and facilities across campus, including six residential college dining halls and the Frist Campus Center food venues, a university announcement states.

“My passion is providing a dining environment that is fun, vibrant, sustainable and focused on the community,” Haneef stated in the announcement. “I am honored to enhance the experiences of Princeton students, faculty and staff through Campus Dining.”

A foodservice and hospitality leader with nearly 20 years of experience in restaurant and hotels around the world, most recently, Hafneef served as district manager for LifeWorks Restaurant Group, an on-site division of Aramark, where she led foodservice operations at multiple Fortune 500 companies and established partnerships with community organizations and global food programs.

“Smitha brings an exciting and fresh perspective on providing inspired offerings to our diverse campus population, as well as building on the partnerships with residential colleges and campus retail and catering clients,” Klaus said in the announcement. “She also has impressive experience with professional development and mentorship programs for staff that I believe will serve our team well at Princeton.”

Prior to Aramark, Haneef was chef and owner of Aha Bite Corp., an award-winning restaurant and catering company outside Birmingham, Ala., where she collaborated with area chefs to develop Indian and fusion cuisines using local ingredients.

Haneef holds a bachelor’s degree from Osmania University, in India, and a degree in hotel management and catering technology from India’s national council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology. 

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
bus advertising jagermeister

Because many locals use the bus system, we paid for some full bus wraps to advertise [job openings within] our dining services program. The buses go all over campus where students can see them, and to apartments where the public can see them. To top it off, the cost wasn’t much more than newspaper rates.

Ideas and Innovation
herb garden wall

In high-volume operations, few look at herb gardens as the end-all-be-all budgeting solution. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a return on the investment. The value, operators say, is in the message herb gardens and herb walls send—that an operation uses ingredients that are fresh, sustainable and healthy. Here’s how the growing areas have paid off at three operations.

A cafeteria wall at Miles River Middle School in South Hamilton, Mass., houses three rows of hydroponic lettuce spearheaded by an interdisciplinary group of health, science, math, technology and foodservice employees...
Ideas and Innovation
regions hospital exterior

One of our new concepts, YumMarket, is a play off our YumPower brand that we have out in the community. We use YumPower in K-12 schools, and there’s a kiosk in a nearby minor league ballpark. We feature only better-for-you choices, such as fresh-made pizzas, sandwiches and healthy grain salads. We want people to know we are taking care of people here the same way we are in the overall community.

Managing Your Business
restaurant uniforms illustration

The standard foodservice uniform has undergone a makeover. Whether to make the job more appealing or extend personality to the guest, restaurants are allowing workers to express their individuality through what they wear, from T-shirts to bandannas to hipster-style aprons. Even in more conservative operations, staff can show their personality through uniforms, now offered in a wide range of colors, fits and styles. In choosing uniforms, operators also are weighing the message their workers’ wear sends, be it one of culinary skill and expertise, or a sense of camaraderie with the community...

FSD Resources